Fetal surgery is finding ever-increasing applications. At present, fetal surgical techniques are used only to treat diseases associated with high mortality risk or severe morbidity if left untreated prior to birth. Yet as a discipline, in utero therapy is attractive to plastic surgeons because it affords the potential to (1) provide a scarless repair, (2) correct the primary deformity, (3) prevent secondary deformities, and (4) give the parents a "normal"-appearing child at birth. Each of these potential benefits is particularly important in patients with craniofacial anomalies. This article will both review the animal models that have been used to study the potential for intrauterine plastic surgery and provide a synopsis of the benefits that fetal therapy may provide in the treatment of selected craniofacial anomalies.
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